Watchdog to answer public questions over policing incidents

Senior officials from the IOPC – the Independent Office for Police Conduct – will be answering public questions at an open meeting in Croydon this Friday.

Fresh beat: Delia Mattis, from BLM Enfield, addresses protestors outside Croydon police station last night

The Metropolitan Police in Croydon is subject to two high-profile IOPC investigations: one into the death of a young black man while in custody following their arrest in the town centre last week; the other into the circumstances that led to a video going viral on the internet of a black woman struggling with police officers, her young son in tears, after getting off a bus on Whitehorse Road.

A small, peaceful demonstration took place outside Croydon Police Station yesterday evening. But the protest was not welcomed universally by senior figures in Croydon’s BAME community.

“This protest is unnecessary,” wrote one leader in a social media discussion.

“I personally find it counterproductive given the hard work we and the police have been doing to change the narrative in Croydon around our community cohesion and understanding.

“I will not support such a protest.

“Every effort must be made to avert an escalation of any tension that can ignite a big problem in Croydon. We want to build a better Croydon and not tear down what we have got. Let peace reign.”

Another responded, “I have lived with police brutality for over 60 years and nothing has changed. Black on black violence is at record level and we need to address it.

“Our youths are leaderless and lack direction in their lives.

“We as a community need to learn how to deal and manage the police when they engage with us and don’t let our emotion get the better of us.” They called for community leaders to “be vocal on social media, so our people know that the police are been taken to task about the incident”.

Others took a different view. “It is easier for people like us to speak like this when we don’t feel as disenfranchised as most people within our community.

“If our leaders are silent… then people will lack faith in their methods and try their own.

“I empathise with the family who lost a son, brother or father. I don’t have the solutions, but I know that people are hurting, and unfortunately, the field is not level.

“What are we as a community going to do now?”

Friday’s meeting with the IOPC will be held at CVA Croydon, 82 London Road CR0 2TB from 10.30am.

“We ask for your support through attendance, as the community’s voice must be heard, and not through the police reporting themselves, but the community raising concerns,” the organisers say.

Those wishing to attend should email to register in advance.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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